Lemon pie is a Southern classic, but Garden & Gun Club chef Ann Kim, who hails from California’s Bay Area, didn’t always know that. “The first time I had a really good key lime pie was at Joe’s Stone Crab on a trip to South Beach,” she says. “The best thing about it was the temperature. It was super, super cold, on the verge of freezing, and just so refreshing.” Kim got to thinking that the cool, tart dessert would be just as good—and more accessible—with lemons in place of key limes. From then on, the recipe became one of her favorites to whip up in a pinch. “Now that I’m here in the South, I know that lemon pie is actually a thing,” she says. “When I was developing a Kentucky-inspired menu for the Southern Bourbon Soirée, recipes kept popping up in my research. Turns out it’s a pretty traditional dessert.”
Kim’s version doesn’t stray far from those classic recipes. “The only real change I make is to the crust,” she says. “A graham cracker crust is pretty much fool-proof, but I add Nilla Wafers to mine. It cuts the graham with a bit of vanilla flavor and adds a slightly different dimension with the different cookie textures.” Though the pie can be made in a snap, be sure to let it chill completely before serving—and don’t skip out on the homemade whipped cream.